“Only Children are Spoiled and Self-Absorbed”
That’s a recurring theme my friends and acquaintances repeat as another good reason to adopt a second child. Interestingly, Single-child families have almost doubled in number, to about 1 in 5 since the 1960s, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
I generally don’t buy the whole “only children are too spoiled” scenario. Poppycock… I believe in part how you parent your only child (or your triplets, or our adopted kids) determines just how spoiled he becomes.
A Time Magazine investigation showed that the negative myths about maladjusted only-children arise because these parents have more time, energy and money to invest in their single offspring, who receives all the soccer classes, piano lessons and laser-focused emotional attention. Incidentally, researchers note this excess attention leads to not just higher SAT scores but also to higher self-esteem.
The U.S. Census reports that the single child family is the fastest growing family unit. So when someone, perhaps your friend who can afford to have four kids and two nannies, urges you need to have another child, spit out the facts about only children and the myths that surround them.
Myth: Only children are bossy and aggressive.
Only children learn quickly that attempting to run the show, a ploy that they may get away with at home, doesn’t work with friends and a bossy, aggressive attitude is a quick ticket to ostracism from the group. Lacking siblings, only children want to be included and well liked. A brother or a sister may buoy Sam as he grows into the most thoughtful, amazing young man.
Myth: Only children mature too quickly.
Children with siblings relate and talk to their siblings rather than their parents. The only child’s primary role models are parents. The result is that only children may simulate adult behavior as well as adult speech patterns and develop good reasoning skills early on making them better equipped to handle the ups and downs of growing up. Myths die hard and slowly. Families with one child outnumber those with two children, so the single child family is here to stay.
Myths are not a great reason to adopt another child! Tell me what you think about only children, as it pertains to adoption! There must be balance between the joy our kids give us and the sacrifices we make to care for them.
Caption: Sam Straff and his first-cousin Riley Straff (who is also an only child!)